LOS ANGELES — The Chinese now control Rambo.
Beijing’s Recon Holdings has purchased a 51 percent stake in Millennium, the film company behind Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo” and “The Expendables,” the companies announced on Thursday.
The deal is valued at $100 million and Recon has the right to purchase the rest of the studio.
The purchase is at least the third Hollywood studio that has sold control or a major stake to deep-pocketed Chinese investors in the last year or so.
Just last month Paramount sold a 25 percent stake in its three-year film slate to Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media for $1 billion.
This time last year China’s Dalian Wanda acquired independent Legendary Pictures for $3.5 billion.
Recon also owns British soccer club Aston Villa.
Millennium produces five-to-eight movies a year — each with a budget of $20 million-to-$80 million. The 21-year old studio has a library of about 300 titles, which Recon gets to control.
Avi Lerner will continue as the studio’s CEO with Recon’s Tony Xia becoming chairman of the LA film company.
Paramount’s deal with Shanghai Film and Huahua could be successful for both sides as the “Transformers” franchise has played well in China.
Others deal have not gotten off to a great start. Legendary’s “The Great Wall,” starring Matt Damon, with a budget of $150 million, grossed just $24 million in the US. However, outside the Us, the film has grossed $245 million in five days.
Late last year, law makers raised questions about the volume of deals between Hollywood and China, fearing attempts by the Chinese to influence US film making and censor topics they don’t like.
They singled out Wanda’s acquisition of theater operator AMC Entertainment in particular.
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